Matthew 21:33-46 The Wicked Tenants

The Master carefully prepared the vineyard

The Master carefully prepared the vineyard

We are continuing on with Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. He is still addressing the chief priests who came to challenge His authority. Are you ready for round three? I think we all know who is going to win this one too.

Jesus uses another parable today in His battle. This one is about a landowner and his tenants. Jesus’ story starts out with the master of the house making preparations. The master didn’t simply lease out a piece of land and wait and see what the tenant would do with it, but he cultivated and tended a vineyard until it was productive. He dug ditches around the vineyard to create an irrigation system and a barrier to predators. He built a watchtower to protect it from any enemies. This was a carefully tended and established piece of property. A lot of planning and care went into making this vineyard profitable. Read more »

Matthew 21:28-32 My Two Sons

Which son are you?

Which son are you?

Jesus is continuing His teaching in the temple in Jerusalem. He is also continuing to address the chief priests that came up to challenge His authority. We are ready for round two! My bet is on Jesus.

Jesus returns to using parables with the chief priests. They are skilled enough to understand Jesus’ meaning, and if they weren’t Jesus actually spelled it out for them after He quizzed them. The parable He uses first is about a father and his two sons.

I am going to assume that the sons in this story are young adults and already have some degree of their own life going on outside of the father’s house. My reason for this is that, if these sons were children, I seriously doubt they would get away with the behavior of 1) telling the father no when told to do a job or 2) saying they were going to comply and not. It is easier to see number two happening with children, as it happens a LOT and requires corrective measures. If number one happened with my child, he would find himself on the receiving end of some serious consequences and then would be required to do as he was told anyway. Read more »

Matthew 21:23-27 A Question of Authority

You answer Me first

You answer Me first

Jesus is in Jerusalem teaching in the temple. This is His last week, this side of the grave. He still has a lot to say before He lays His life down. I wish Matthew would have told us what He was teaching about. I would love to drink in every minute of His last week. Was there more urgency in His messages now than before? A lot of people had fallen away because of some of His teachings, but right now in the center of Passover preparations, He had a huge audience. As before, I’m sure some came out of curiosity, others for what they could get from Jesus, and some really wanted to learn from Him.

Jesus has been in the temple for hours. He and His disciples came straight here after arriving in Jerusalem this morning. Jesus has been healing any who came to Him or whom crossed His path. While Jesus is healing the people, a crowd begins to gather. By the time the last person is healed the crowd has grown considerably. Everyone is anxious to see what Jesus will do next. Now that He has their undivided attention, He begins teaching the people. Read more »

Matthew 21:18-22 Jesus and the Fig Tree

No one will ever eat of you again

No one will ever eat of you again

Jesus and His disciples are on their way back to Jerusalem after spending the night in Bethany. It was about a two mile walk back to town. In Mark’s account, Jesus encounters the fig tree that we are going to be talking about for the first time on the morning that He also cleansed the temple. For us, that would have been yesterday. But Matthew records the fig tree incident on the next morning. Matthew is kind of famous for condensing events. Since we are going through Matthew right now, we will talk about the fig tree today. We will be bringing some information in from Mark though in our discussion.

The first thing I want to know is why was Jesus hungry? I would assume that the hostess of where they were staying would have prepared plenty for everyone to eat before they left for Jerusalem. Was Jesus busy ministering to people and missed breakfast? Was His stomach Read more »

Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus at His Father’s House

From the lips of babes You have ordained praise

From the lips of babes You have ordained praise

We have arrived in Jerusalem with Jesus and His disciples. This is the last week in Jesus’ earthly life. Jesus spends the days of this week in Jerusalem but the nights in Bethany. He went there after yesterday’s story and is back in town today to do a bit of house cleaning and to minister to the people in need.

The temple during festival times was a hub of activity. People from far and wide came to offer their annual sacrifices. Those who came from close by brought theirs with them, while distant travelers brought money to purchase appropriate sacrifices at the temple. I have learned through many sources that those working in the temple would “inform” those who brought animals that their animals were not acceptable and require them to purchase one from the “approved” stock. The money brought also had to be exchanged for “acceptable” money. Of course Read more »